Can you ask an employee to use his or her personal e-mail for business purposes? What happens if he or she makes personal use of work e-mail?
One of the characteristics of the employment contract and the employment relationship is the external nature of the means. This means that it must be the employer who facilitates and provides all the means necessary for the development of the employee’s tasks. Therefore, the employee cannot be asked to use his or her personal e-mail for employment-related matters: the company must provide him or her with a professional e-mail address.
Case law has considered that there are other less invasive ways that do not involve the intrusion of personal data and that the fact of providing a corporate e-mail clearly avoids the interference of asking the worker for a personal e-mail.
Just as you cannot force an employee to use personal means for work, you can prevent him or her from making personal use of work tools. To this end, a clause can be included in the contract stating that both e-mail and Internet browsing are company media and that their use must be solely for business purposes, and that their use may be monitored for disciplinary purposes. Provided that this is correctly and previously informed, the company may check the correctness of the use of these computer media to confirm whether the work and/or professional duty or performance is being fulfilled, as well as to verify that their use is in accordance with the purposes that justify it.
Our professionals will advise you on the limits of employee data protection.